Boys Varsity Football · Braves control clock and Warriors in 55-12 TRC win

55 Maconaquah High School
12 North Miami High School
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Maconaquah High School vs North Miami High School
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2 16   6
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After a one-hour weather delay, the Maconaquah Braves wasted little time in rolling past the North Miami Warriors here Friday night, 55-12, in Three Rivers Conference warfare.
The win, fourth straight for the Braves, improved their record to 4-2 (3-1 TRC). Coach Austin Colby’s troops have scored 40+ points in all four victories and easily secured their second consecutive mythical Miami County Championship. North Miami evened its record at 3-3 and dropped to 2-3 in league play. MHS now leads the overall series, 22-13-1, which started in 1963.
The Braves scored on seven of their first eight offensive possessions and when they were stopped one yard short on their fifth possession, the Mac defense put points on the board with a safety late in the first half.
Maconaquah’s took the opening kick and settled for a Richie Leary 36-yard field goal and a 3-0 lead at the 7:32 mark. Tristan Working brought the Warrior homecoming crowd to its feet with 92-yard kickoff return 12 ticks later and North Miami led, 6-3.
The Braves offense went to work and marched 75 yards to paydirt in 10 plays, taking a 10-6 lead on Bryce Smyth’s six-yard TD (Leary PAT) with 2:01 left in the first quarter. After a 16-yard kickoff return, North Miami lost its first of four fumbles on the night and Mac stretched its lead to 18-6 at the end of the period when Jared Blake found the endzone from six yards out. Nate Harding hit Aaron McKinley with the two-point conversion pass.
A pair of Carter Little touchdowns sandwiched the safety in the second stanza and the Braves were in command, 34-6, at intermission. Little capped a 17-play, 8 1/2 minute drive with a seven-yard TD run late in the quarter and then added another with :42 on the clock when he snared a Nolan Kelly pass and raced 59 yards to paydirt. Jolee Holland, the first female football player in Maconaquah history, then put her name in the record books with a perfect PAT kick. Holland said the extra-point boot was more exciting that being named MHS homecoming queen in last weeks win vs Peru.
The Braves dominated first half action by running 47 plays to North Miami’s seven and using 21:15 of the clock, while the Warriors owned the ball for only 2:45. The Braves had 319 yards total offense in the first half. North Miami had 21 yards rushing.
Little’s six-yard TD run (Leary kick) early in the third quarter shoved the lead to 41-6.
After a NM score late in the period, Smyth capped the scoring in the fourth with a 15-yard TD and a dazzling 74-yard burst with 5:49 left in the contest. Smyth finished with a career-high 137 yards on 13 carries. Little, who had 156 yards in the first half, finished with 191 on 23 attempts, while Blake added 72 hard-earned yards on 15 totes.
On the night, Mac racked up 25 first downs to North Miami’s six and finished with 507 yards total offense in coming up five points shy of the school record (60) vs Taylor in 2014.
Colin Deckard and Matt Ingram led the defense with five tackles each. McKinley had four stops, while Harding, Kelly and Braxton Caldwell were each credited with three.
Harding, Ingram and Garrett Spohn all recovered Warrior fumbles.
Maconaquah will entertain Tippecanoe Valley Friday night in a “Senior Night” TRC battle.